I’m moving a bit further away from the main services in my town, not very far compared to most living situations in urban areas, but far enough away that making a comfortable and functional ride is important to me. Not only that, but testing out new products at the same time, and making the ultimate fatty commuter. I bought a Surly Moonlander last fall. I love this thing. Surly prides itself on strength and the ability to carry a load, and that is why it is the perfect bike for getting from point A to point B. I decided I wanted to save wear and tear on my Bud and Lou’s, ride in a more upright position, and add some things to make my trip to the post office easier. I’m on a budget as most of us are, so there was also no need to pay top dollar for some of these parts. I found some relatively cheap options to pimp out the Surly Moonlander. Below is how I converted my fatty to a cushy commuter. Fatty Commuter   I bought the most expensive part of the transformation first, the Jones Loop Bars. These bars quickly caught my eye, mainly because of how unique they looked. After doing some research and even getting on the phone with Jeff Jones, the owner and founder of Jones bikes and parts, I soon realized that this bar may solve the problems I am having. Although I’m skeptical on using these for ultra racing, maybe I should not be. My back issues have continued to exist even with a bike fit. I have continued to change stem angles, spacings, handlebar sweep, saddles, saddle heights, and cleat positions. Some have worked better than others, but for the most part I am still plagued with a sore lower back. In the month that I have used the Jones H Loop Bars, I have yet to feel the the lower back pain, although a long distance test is still prudent for a full review. If you do purchase the H Bars, be sure to check out the custom ESI grips that are sold on the Jones website, the custom extra cushy grips are available for the length of the 700mm and 680mm bars. Fatty Comutter Every commuter needs storage space. I did not want both front and rear racks, and had plenty of frame space, so I figured I would order a frame bag to carry my packages to and from the post office. To incorporate my subtle red theme, I had Tupper, owner of Becker Sewing and Design, add a little red when he could. The bag turned out great, with dual compartments and a see though divider that is detachable, durable, and sleek. Stay tuned for a full review on the bag next month. Fatty Commuter I then looked for a cheap rear rack to fit the Moonlander. It proved to be more difficult than I thought. There are not many companies that make racks for fat bikes, let alone something that is affordable. I do not plan on strapping panniers to the rack, nor am I carrying a lot of weight on it. I was chatting with a friend who recommended the Planet Bike Versarack. The Versarack fits most frames because of the spacers that are provided, it was no different with the Surly Moonlander. The rack is strong, the welds looks legit, and so far it has held up to the commute a number of times. Tires are important for many reasons, especially for a fat bike. My goal was to find a tire that was cheap, rolled well, but could still hook up under dirt/gravel. So I took off my Bud and Lou’s as they are in great condition, and did not roll well on the dry ground at all. I asked around and people seemed to like the Surly Larry 26 x 3.8 tire 120tpi. I found lightly used tires on a gear swap for 100 for the pair. I snagged them quickly. The tires fit perfectly on the Clown Shoes, and have yet to experience a self steer feeling. They are heavy, and I have continued to use tubes, but I’m not racing this bike. For the commuter they are perfect. Fatty Commuter To top it all off, I added some rim strips from the Fat Bike Company. It was a simple touch that goes a long way in adding a bit of character to your fat bike.  I also added the Bike Bag Dude Chaff Bag, to store my cold beverages, wether it be a water bottle or a beer, it straps to the bars and fork nicely. What is now called the Riverbender, is a sleek yet functional fat bike that gets excited for the 2 mile commute on dirt from the Riverbend neighborhood to downtown Crested Butte. Fatty Commuter


  1. Pingback: Becker Custom Framebag | Bikepackers MagazineBikepackers Magazine

  2. Pingback: Jones Bikes Loop H-Bars - Bikepackers Magazine

  3. I have been commuting in the desert on my SE Bikes F@R for the last 3 months. This bike has tamed the soft sand and washboards and made the commute enjoyable again. I was suspect of the fatbike phenomena at first but, out here in the desert, they rock. Now I have to get one for my wife and my kids.

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